“Images of America: Beartooth Mountains,” by Patty Hooker. Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, S.C. Softbound, 127 pages. $21.99
“Images of America: Beartooth Mountains” is a book of photographs but not the lush images of towering peaks and roaring creeks you might expect. Instead, the photographs are all in black and white, and the text is confined to extended captions that accompany the photos.
This is another in a series of books by Arcadia Publishing that use archival photographs and local writers to convey some history of various places in America. Patty Hooker, who wrote the “Columbus and Stillwater County” volume in the series, also wrote the text that accompanies these photos.
Some of the photos are familiar, such as those of Chief Joseph and Chief Plenty Coups. But many were new to these eyes. They show mining camps, early tourists, cowboys, horses, sheep ranchers, construction of the Beartooth Highway, historical characters and, yes, panoramic views of the Beartooth Mountains, all in a tightly packed 127 pages.
It’s a quick but entertaining look at a time not so long ago that can easily now feel inaccessible.The difficulties these early explorers and settlers faced are hard to imagine, but the beauty that drew them is all too evident.
Readers who are interested in the history of the Beartooth Region may find this book useful, even invaluable. Those who just want to look at mountains may be better off just looking at the mountains.